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February 20 Today’s Reading — Numbers 27-29
“A Day of Blowing the Trumpets”
This blessed Gospel Day is “a day of blowing the trumpets.” The feast of trumpets was held at the time of ancient Israel’s New Year. The spiritual significance of the feast is very plain. It represents the gospel call, as the prophet Isaiah specifically tells us. — “It shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish… and shall worship the LORD” (Isaiah 27:13). Have you heard this joyful sound, and do you keep this spiritual feast? — “Blessed [is] the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance” (Psalms 89:15). What instructive shadows of the “joyful sound” of gospel grace we have set before us in the commandments, institutions, and ceremonies of the law.
Zelophehad’s daughters, five sisters, daughters of a sinful man, believed God and sought an inheritance among the sanctified (Numbers 27:1-4). Moses was commanded of God to number the people; and God promised that those which were numbered would be the possessors of Canaan (Numbers 26:53). But the daughters of Zelophehad were not numbered. Consequently, they had no claim in that promise. Yet, when Moses sought God’s mind in the matter, Zelophehad’s daughters obtained inheritance with God’s Israel in the land of promise.
These five sisters give us a picture of God’s grace bestowed upon his elect among the Gentiles. The earthly Canaan was but a type of the everlasting inheritance earned and purchased for God’s elect by the obedience and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is an inheritance given to none but the numbered of Israel, God’s elect. Yet, those who inherit heaven’s glory with Christ are a multitude no man can number, Jews and Gentiles out of every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue (Isaiah 49:18-23; Revelation 7:4-10; Romans 11:26). — “In Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
May God grant that we might be as anxious to obtain an inheritance among them that are sanctified as these daughters of Israel were for an inheritance among their brethren. Let this be the highest ambition of our souls (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1-6). Oh for grace to mind heavenly things rather than earthly things and to set our affection on eternal things rather than upon temporal things!
Canaan in Sight
As the Lord told Moses to go up on Mt. Abarim to see Canaan, the Land of Promise, so let us stand upon the tiptoe of expectation with our heavenly Canaan ever before our eyes. It is appointed unto all men once to die, but the death of each of God’s saints is precious in his sight. Moses was given a view of the Promised Land to strengthen his faith in God’s promises. Surely we are to see in this the sweet assurance of an everlasting inheritance in heaven for all God’s elect by the merits of him whom Moses beheld in the bush. Though he was not allowed to enjoy the privileges of the earthly Canaan because of his own sin, he was assured of an eternal inheritance in the heavenly Canaan because Christ, his sin-atoning Sacrifice, gave him perfect righteousness and immutable, everlasting acceptance with the holy Lord God. With that assurance, Moses resigned himself to the will of God and walked into the grave fully aware of his great sin and fully confident that Christ had put away all his sin. O Holy Spirit, give me such grace!
Throughout the typical, legal, Mosaic era God’s people were required to keep at his altar “an offering made by fire unto the LORD…a continual burnt offering” (Numbers 28:3-6), to keep in the minds of every worshipper a sense of sin, constantly reminding all that “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Behold, my soul, the Lord Jesus Christ in this continual burnt offering, and be assured of his precious fulness and of the infinite all-sufficiency of his great salvation, who by the one offering of himself has forever perfected them that are sanctified (Hebrews 10:10-14).